Helen Matthews Lewis Wins the 2012 Appalachian Writers Association's Book of the Year Award for Nonfiction
Lexington, KY-University Press of Kentucky author Helen Matthews Lewis has been named as the recipient of the 2012 Appalachian Writers Association's Book of the Year Award for Nonfiction for her book Helen Matthews Lewis: Living Social Justice in Appalachia. The Appalachian Writers Association's mission is to promote and recognize writing about the Appalachian Region which includes those eastern mountains and foothills ranging from Alabama to Maine. The AWA aims to promote writers living in or having lived in the Appalachian Region and those who have significant Appalachian connections through heritage or scholarship. Each year they present the Appalachian Book of the Year Awards in recognition of superior and significant writing. The award was presented at an award banquet at East Tennessee State University on Friday, October 18.
A prominent author, political activist, and community leader, Lewis has spent much of her life promoting Appalachian studies and social justice. Her work as an author has been extensive-including ten monographs and almost fifty book chapters, articles, and reports-and her accomplishments as a social justice advocate have had a tremendous effect on bringing broad attention to the region. Through her efforts, a vast body of scholarly material on the region has been produced during her lifetime. A fitting addition to that body of work is Helen Matthews Lewis: Living Social Justice in Appalachia. Editors Patricia Beavers and Judith Jennings have gathered Lewis's most prominent writings in order to highlight the contributions she has made to the field of Appalachian studies. The book offers a complete observation of social movements in Appalachia through the eyes of one of the region's most prominent scholars and serves as a signpost to the progress made in the region.